In Eight Steps to Happiness Geshe-la says "'Self' and 'other' are relative terms, rather like 'this mountain' and 'that mountain ... 'This' and 'that' therefore depend upon our point of reference. This is also true of self and other. By climbing down the mountain of self, it is possible to ascend the mountain of other, and thereby cherish others as much as we presently cherish ourself."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Updated Master Index of Geshe-la's Books

The Master Index of Geshe-la's Books has been updated to include all the index entries for The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra.
You can download it from DropBox
As I continue to edit it and add to it, the latest version will always be there on DropBox.

That index is a compilation of the indexes of every book by Geshe-la, with additional entries and See Alsos as hyperlinks.
There is a key at the top with the full book titles spelled out. For example, the shorthand for the American edition of Modern Buddhism is [ModBu_Am].

At that same DropBox location is a separate file that includes sections of index entries for analogies, stories and quotes.
For example, here's a sample of some of the analogy entries:

Tharpa is considering distributing it, so if you think that would be helpful to others, email

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My dog has cancer

Dear Sangha Friends,
Our dear dog Sara has advanced cancer, but she is still acting like herself: eating with gusto, resting with less gusto, staring at us to tell us she wants to go for a walk.
Surgery isn't a possibility, and chemo probably wouldn't help, so she is on palliative care at home with us.
There was no prognosis, but it seems like it may be a matter of weeks.
Please make prayers.
Thank you.
R & M

P.S. Today is Tara Day. I am planning to attend the puja, in part to make requests for Sara to Mother Tara.

Friday, November 6, 2015

ModBu & You

I was wondering how others combined their daily lives with Kadampa Buddhism.
If you want to reply to me, I could post the compilation here.
It also seems like a good subject for Sangha conversations.

OK, I'll start.
* Washing dishes, mentally reciting Vajrasattva's mantra and thinking that I am also purifying my mind. It's a form of cherishing others too, because R appreciates it when I take care of them.
* Weeding the yard, imagining I'm pulling up my delusions, and I try to get at the root of both; pruning, I try to think about cutting back the thorn bush of my delusions so that I can get at the root.
Occasionally when doing yardwork, listening to teachings on my iPod, and I plan to do that more often.
Also listening teachings when walking around the neighborhood.
* Driving I recite Dorje Shugden mantras to protect especially pedestrians and bicyclists as well as motor vehicles.
Also giving food bars to those asking for help at a highway on- or off-ramp). If I'm out of those bars, I dig for change or at least smile and wave, trying to remember to wish them real freedom and happiness. I like to combine those actions with something I heard that James G did when making a small donation or such: "Just as I am giving this [item] to you now, to create a connection, in the future may I can give you Dharma teachings."
* Resting on the couch practicing either taking (such as the sufferings of a particular homeless person or family I've seen recently, often one of the Real Change vendors I know) or, when I'm even more tired, rejoicing (which I like to spell reJOYcing) in things like a kindness I've read about in the news that day.
* At the chemo center or hospital, feeling compassion for all the suffering there, especially for those without a spiritual practice, and strengthening my resolve to release them. Then I try to expand the scope of beings, not forgetting the hungry ghosts or the gods. It's stronger when I can think of specific types, such as famous but envious movie stars.

I really like the idea of finding more and more ways to practice Dharma in all parts of my life, with the aim of making every moment meaningful.

One of the many features of our tradition I love is how practical it is, in so many ways. (If I had more time and energy, I'd list some, but you'll need to do that for yourself until I get around to it.) That practicality is the main thing I emphasize when someone asks me how Kadampa Buddhism is different from other schools. Gen-la Dekyong wisely advised the Seattle Sangha not to compare ours to other versions, but simply to talk about its distinctive good qualities.